The beer was cold against my lips. I sat there looking out over a particularly sunny landscape and, raising a toast to a passing cloud, took another draw from the bottle. You see, I was celebrating . . . celebrating my first murder.
My victim? Nobody you would know. But then again, maybe you DO know this guy. He and his ilk are nothing if not ubiquitous.
The weird thing is, there was a period when I considered this guy to be my best friend. You would have been hard pressed to find two closer companions anywhere. For the longest Time, if you saw me you could be certain that he was always close by. We were, in fact, inseparable. It was the dawning realization a few years back that my identity, my very sense of self, was wrapped up in my relationship to this guy that caused me to question if that relationship was really healthy and in my best interest.
When I first brought up my concerns, he just laughed them off. Quite the joker, he was. But I persisted and when I refused to be dissuaded, he acted as though his feelings had been hurt. When this little ploy didn’t have the desired effect of making me recant, well, then . . . that’s when he got nasty. I was told in no uncertain terms that I needed him, that I was nothing without him, that I just couldn’t handle things on my own. After a while, he softened a bit, reminding me that for years he had protected me, looked out for me, cared for me. He said he was only doing what was best for me and that I should be grateful.
I hate to admit it but, at first, I thought that he might be right, maybe I DID need him. I recognized that, after so many years together, I really had come to depend on him for far more than I should have. Could I do okay on my own? Did I even know how? I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I had my doubts.
I moped around for a few days, questioning my judgment and my commitment to break free all the while. He could tell that I was still struggling with the whole thing and did his best to pacify my doubts. Strokes to my ego followed apologies and other various attempts to distract. Something told me, though, that this was about nothing more than the preservation of the status quo and his own preeminence in my Life. His coddling gradually changed to coercion, then became threats. I recognized with painful finality that there was something very wrong and that, if anything was to be done, I was the one that would have to do it.
I knew he had no interest in changing the state of things but I refused to let that stop me. I sought out counseling but, with me being the only willing participant, it wasn’t at all effective. I was the one that wanted change, not him. I knew that the longer I permitted him to remain in my Life, the more I was giving away my power. This had to stop.
I tried to walk away, but he refused to leave me alone. No matter where I went, he followed. The more I tried to be done with him, the more determined was his pursuit. My entreaties for him to just leave fell on deaf ears. Pretty soon I found myself drowning in my emotions. Fear and anger were constants when I was awake and when I dreamed. It was then that I recognized just how poisonous was the whole affair.
So I decided to kill him.
It was a most satisfying task, that of snuffing out his life and hiding all remnants of his existence from sight. The monster now lies in an unmarked grave. I mean, really . . . why on earth would I want to memorialize such a villain? And what would the headstone read? –
– MY DELUSIONS –
Though to the eye exceeding fair,
His heart, ‘twas black and vile.
No longer shall his mien ensnare,
nor manner e’er beguile.
I know I’ll never see him again. Unless I resurrect him, that is. It’s kind of scary to know that I have that kind of power, even more so to know that the responsibility to keep that tomb sealed rests with no one but me.
I really do feel the better for his being dead.
Care to join me in a beer?…
©Billy Red Horse